Nursing Education Concept by M Louise Fitzpatrick

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Nursing Education Concept by M Louise Fitzpatrick

Nursing Education Concept by M Louise Fitzpatrick

Who Is M Louise Fitzpatrick,How Move to Education,Interest in Teaching,Journey to Teaching,Mentoring  Role For Teaching,Developing as A Teacher,Subjects Taught In Early Career,Level of Comfort as A Teacher,Challenges as a Teacher,Beneficial Aspects of Teaching,Less Rewarding Aspects of Teaching,Maintain Excellence,Message for New Teachers.

Who Is M Louise Fitzpatrick

    M. Louise Fitzpatrick is the Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor of the College of Nursing, Villanova University. She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and received a bachelor's degree in nursing from.

    The Catholic University of America. She earned two master's degrees and a doctorate from Teachers College, Columbia University. 

    She holds a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management, Harvard University, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and has served as a consultant to numerous schools of nursing and health agencies in the United States and abroad.

    Dr Fitzpatrick has served on the Board of Governors of the National League for Nursing and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. She is past Chair of the Cabinet on Nursing Education of the American Nurses Association. 

    She has been the recipient of a World Health Organization fellowship for study in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom, and a Malone Travel Fellowship from the Committee on US-Arab Relations. Dr Fitzpatrick has a strong interest in international health care and nursing education.

How Move to Education 

    Dr M. Louise Fitzpatrick knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a nursing educator and was mentored by pioneers in nursing education. 

    She holds that teachers of nursing should be grounded in educational theory, academia, and methodology. For her it is most satisfying to have students who have surpassed their teacher.

Interest in Teaching

    She always thought about being a teacher, even as a child. Also, she used to be a camp counselor and was always around children, so she thought she was going to be a teacher. 

    When she got to high school, for one reason or another, still unclear to me, she became interested in nursing. She used to be a camp counselor for underprivileged children and she could see that there were a lot of health problems that needed to be addressed for these children. 

    Anyway, if you looked at her high school yearbook, every person in that class of 1960 in that small town in New Jersey was asked what they wanted to be. By hers if does not say “nurse” and it does not say “teacher.” 

    To this day she is baffled by the fact that it says: “Nursing Instructor.” she never knew anybody who was a Nursing Instructor, but she guess she figured out that somebody had to teach nursing students.

    She applied to a variety of baccalaureate programs but wound up going to the Diploma School at Johns Hopkins because somehow or another visit there grabbed her. 

    She was an above average, but not an outstanding student for those 3 years of nursing school, until she got to the last experience in community health. It was unusual at that time to have community health in a diploma program and the program at Hopkins was excellent. 

    That is where she really came alive. So, she was out of Hopkins for about one semester working in a New Jersey hospital when she went to Catholic university, other spent 2 1 2 years doing everything that she should have done the first time around to qualify for public health nursing and earn a BSN. 

    It was a valuable experience. Even then, she knew she would become a nurse educator. She went back to New Jersey and did public health nursing for a short period of time and then decided she wanted to go to graduate school. Teaching was still in her mind even though she had not had many years of practice. 

    She was able to gain the practice experience, even as a full time traineeship supported person because she worked weekends, on call. In addition, during the summers she worked for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York and built up my practice skills. 

    From the very beginning, she knew that she wanted to do something beyond clinical practice and she knew that v did not want to be in a hospital setting.

Journey to Teaching

    When she graduated from Hopkins and went home to New Jersey she was practicing as a staff nurse. That following summer, because she had a baccalaureate degree, she was expected to teach the students in that New Jersey diploma school. 

    It was really more clinical supervision than teaching. She did not really know what she was doing, but she knew that she liked the role. Then when she went to Teachers College, they had me working with the RNs since she had just finished a master's degree. 

    She taught Community Health Nursing and Maternal Child Health in an outpatient setting. She would have to say that she had some strong influences that moved her to be interested in teaching. One was a music teacher she had throughout her public elementary and high school years. 

    She was a very strong, female role model. Her mother was not a teacher, but had gone to law school and graduated in 1929 when not very many women were going to law school. It is interesting that she never had an interest in law. 

    She also had a father who was very supportive of education. She was socialized into higher education at Teachers College, after her initial professional socialization in nursing at Hopkins and her academic orientation at Catholic University. 

    Adelaide Nutting and Isabelle Hampton had been at Hopkins and Nutting then went to Teachers College. She was aware of nursing history early on in my career. She cannot identify why or how but she carry that sense of history with me today.

    When she entered Teachers College, she was 24 and a full-time student on Trainee ship. She earned two master's degrees, one in the supervision of public health nursing and one in teaching.

    We had some wonderful scholars who were part of our education. Although doctoral study was appealing after she finished my master's she thought she would go out and teach. She had an advisor who was a community health nurse, and she thought that some teaching experience would be useful. 

    In those days when you were young, you listened to what your mentors told you. A conversation took place during which she stood back and heard Frances Frazier and Mildred Montag hold a discussion about me, as if she were not present. 

    Mildred Montag, who was the stronger personality of the two told Fran (her advisor), “I don't care what you say, she is going right on to do the doctorate because this is what other fields do, and our young people in nursing have to do it as well." Then she turned to me and said, “You are going to go right into the doctoral program and she will be the sponsor of your dissertation.” 

    However, she added, "You will have to be finished before I retire in 1972," because she said, "I do not plan to carry any doctoral students when I retire." There is nothing like a statement like that to get you moving. Montag's amount was that you demonstrate your research competence through doctoral study and then you move on with your career. 

    She believed that doctoral study was not the capstone of your career, but the beginning of your career. She completed the doctorate in 2 years, 1 week before she retired, and 1 week before she turned 30. She then stayed on at Teachers College in a faculty position. It had been the position of Frances Frazier, my academic advisor, who also retired in 1972.

Mentoring  Role For Teaching

    Her faculty colleagues at Teachers College were all very helpful, but she can not, in all honesty, say that she had just one mentor. Georgie Labadie, although also a new faculty member, had previous teaching experience and became a great friend and helper. 

    She still is a friend today, despite the years and the miles between us. There were my peers like Shaké Ketefian who were not at Teachers College but were sort of going through the same initial experience, and we would get together and talk. The interesting thing was that she wasn't teaching undergraduate students. She started out teaching graduate students.

    Many people influenced her, including a lot of people outside the Department of Nursing Education. The late Professor Walter Sind linger who was chair of the department of higher education at Teachers College was a wonderful mentor. 

    Even to the day she left and decided to come to Villanova as Dean, Dr. are linger was a wonderful role model. He was a teacher who was knowledgeable in his field, and he understood where the students were, in terms of their education. 

    He was nurturing, supportive, and a good advisor in terms of career development. She would say that he was more of a mentor than the nursing faculty. Eleanor Lambert Sen gave me my first opportunity to work as a teacher. Mildred Montag was a very strong personality, the kind of person who motivated you to achieve. 

    She was a Socratic teacher and also played devil's advocate in the classroom. She was never warm and fuzzy, but was very sensitive to the fact that she had young people in the class. She had a sense of history but saw young people as the future. 

    After you sat in her classroom and listened to lectures on curriculum development, you found yourself running to the library to read the dissertation she had mentioned. 

    Before we sat for departmental exams, we had to be well versed in historical documents that were foundational to the development of the field. They were well socialized into what academia was all about. The literature we read went far beyond nursing and nursing education, and

    She thinks that was very important. We learned what being a professor all was about. She know that some people would probably shudder if they heard her say this, but we were socialized to believe that we were professors and educators first; and our area of expertise or our content area was nursing rather than nurses who happened to be teaching. 

    Therein was the difference. We were expected to be the architects of the educational experience in nursing and assumed the identity of educator.

Developing as A Teacher

    She came out of an educational background that socialized women at a young age to a way of thinking that combined the knowledge of pedagogy with expertise in nursing. 

    At Teachers College there was the belief that we should have at our disposal the knowledge and skills to structure curriculum and to understand how people learn and how we should teach to enable learning. 

    We learned to be easy with teaching strategies and the educational principles so that we could assist others who might be clinically competent, but needed help to effectively engage in the educational process. We were educated to be the evaluators, the educators, the curriculum developers, and the educational leaders. 

    It was a rich experience because we took many courses outside of nursing from very accomplished people. Teachers College at Columbia University's School of Education was structured to focus on the history and philosophy of education regardless of one's content area or field.

Subjects Taught In Early Career

    At Teachers College (TC), She taught all of the Community Health courses including Social and Epidemiological Concepts of Health and Illness. She initially co-taught the course with a colleague, Georgie Labadie, and we were one step ahead of the students. 

    We were not sure what we were doing but in retrospect, She believe that we were teaching nursing theory, which was in its infancy. In addition, she taught courses in long-term care, curriculum development, the practicum for student teachers, and she advised all the nursing history dissertations.

    They had huge numbers of students and advises. The faculty was carrying an unbelievable burden. When she left Teachers College in 1978, She continued to chair the dissertations of 19 doctoral students. All of these students finished within a 2-year period, which was not easy for me as a new Dean living in another state.

    In 1978 she went to Villanova as Dean of the College of Nursing. The President was looking for a dean, and my name had been given to him by someone at Middle States. It was at a time when things had become rocky at TC. 

    No matter how hard a few of us tried we could not save the Department of Nursing Education because the administrative support for nursing had eroded. She doesn’t know what made me finally decide to leave. She guesses she was frustrated and felt like she couldn't make a change there. 

    At the time, She was an Associate Professor and in her early thirties. She wanted to be at a place where she thought she could influence something. She never considered going outside of New York and certainly never considered going to Villanova; but the President encouraged her to come and look at the place. 

    He pressed and pressed her and finally she visited in the summer of 1977 but it took until October for her to make up her mind. She said “yes” to Villanova in October. The decision to leave New York was a big one because she'd “grown up” professionally at Teachers College.

    She was the only person when she arrived in January 1978 in The College of Nursing with a doctorate. We had a large traditional undergraduate program and she taught the senior trends course. 

    When we started the graduate program 2 years later, they began to attract doctorally prepared people to the faculty but they were in short supply. She inherited a faculty that had been there many years. 

    They were an experienced and older faculty, relatively close to retirement who were very supportive of her, even though they knew change was coming. She will always have respect for these women, because they put the school first and themselves second. 

    They wanted the school to grow. They supported what she was recommending and allowed her to make changes and “grow” the faculty. Some people came to us fresh from their master's degrees. She realized that she was not going to recruit doctorally prepared faculty quickly and was going to have to also grow her own. 

    At the present, the faculty consists of 41 full time persons. About 10 of them were hired as young people with their master's degrees and then went back to school to earn their doctorate. Then she was able to say, “Alright, we will only bring someone in who already has a doctoral degree,” which is the case now. 

    So what she have now is kind of a mixed group of people which includes young PhDs who are ready to roll with their research trajectories, and others whom we grew and are able to participate in the academic process. 

    The hardest thing for me is transforming clinical specialists, or people who are fine clinical experts who decide that they are going to work in the educational environment when they have had no previous contact with that environment. 

    To try and turn them into academicians is a challenge. Clinical specialists come in with a whole different view of the world. They are well socialized in their role as "nurse" and to turn them into academicians is sometimes very difficult.

Level of Comfort as A Teacher

    She think it took me about 4 years to really feel comfortable because she was still quite young (in her thirties), and most of the students that she taught were a good deal older than she. That alone did not bother me; it was that many of them were more experienced. 

    She was not intimated by the students. She can still remember feeling she had to get through all course content. So, she would say that it took me a good 4 years to really have a comfort level, until she did not feel that she had to be wedded to the notes in my hands.

Challenges as a Teacher

    That first course in Social and Epidemiological Concepts of Health and Illness was a challenge. She had background in Epidemiology, but they were creating a course that was au courant. 

    It was very much in line with where the field of nursing was going but nobody had defined it for us yet. So, we were muddling along trying to do it. It really was a theory course. Georgie Labadie and she were creating it as they went along.

Beneficial Aspects of Teaching

    She thinks that a teaching career in nursing or a career in educational administration as she is doing now is probably the most satisfying thing you can do. She thinks that if you are a nurse, even though indirectly, you are making a contribution to health care and to the betterment of mankind. 

    It gives you great satisfaction to be preparing the next generation to do this work. She knows that in my position now, one of the things she like the most is becoming involved in larger social issues. She see many opportunities that faculty may not necessarily identify. 

    Someone may call me and say that there is an opportunity to develop a practice at a clinic for Indonesian immigrants. They can then begin to connect the educational program to some of the needs of communities. This is very satisfying and part of educational leadership in nursing.

    Every year they have a career day at our College of Nursing; there is always a panel of alumni in various nursing roles. 

    She said to the faculty, “You invite many alumni back to speak, and they are very interesting, but I do not see one person on that panel who is a nurse educator. There is no one saying, I teach nursing and I think it's a great career." 

    Well, that has changed. They are doing that now. One of her personal missions is to use some of the strategies that their former leaders used in identifying young people and really trying to put them on a career path in which they have interest. She think nursing education is the most satisfying career she could have ever chosen and she want to encourage others to choose it.

    The most satisfying experience she ever had and the ones that she most enjoy now are with the international students. She have always been interested in other cultures. At Teachers College we rubbed shoulders with people who were leaders in their fields from other countries. 

    She was always fascinated and made good friends with my international classmates. Then she became a faculty member, and internationals were her students. It was the most satisfying thing to know that they were also making a contribution somewhere else in the world. 

    When she went to Villanova, they were far away from getting involved with international students because they had graduate programs to build. About 12 years ago we were “ready” to have international students and programs and fortunately, the opportunities presented themselves. 

    Now, they have become very international. It satisfies a need in me because she is the happiest with these international students. Patience that I do not have with anybody or anything, she have with this group of students. 

    Our work with the students in the Middle East, especially the graduates of Oman have a 10-year history and she really sees a difference in what they are doing when they go back to their country. They feel like we are really making a contribution.

Less Rewarding Aspects of Teaching

    She has found her career as an academic very rewarding and cannot think of any parts that are not rewarding.

Maintain Excellence

    Well, she has to be honest with you. She does not do much actual teaching now due to my administrative responsibilities. She will be teaching a curriculum course in the graduate program in the fall 2004 because someone is on sabbatical. She expects to get more actively involved with the doctoral program. she was excited about that. 

    She thinks it is very difficult to keep up in your field when you are doing administration. It is a challenge. So, she is not necessarily on the top of my specialty field right now. However, she has stayed conversant with the issues and is an acknowledged leader in nursing and higher education. 

    She thinks that as new technologies have been made available for teaching and learning that she has really pushed that envelope very hard, so that, technologically we are right where we need to be in our program.

     One of the things that she try to do, more than anything else, is socialize graduate students and faculty as to what it means to be a professor and what it means to be part of a university.

Message for New Teachers

    She would encourage new teachers not to be fearful and to develop confidence. You cannot tell people to be confident; they have to develop confidence themselves. She would try and encourage them to develop a support system. 

    If they do not have the background, eg, if they do not know how to teach undergraduates, if they do not know how to develop tests, or engage in clinical evaluations they are going to need to learn how to do that. 

    She really feels strongly about it. You know, you just cannot “catch as catch can.” In terms of assuming the role, she thinks that having a support system is important. If they cannot choose a mentor who is more experienced, then they need to create a support system.

    It is unfortunate that there is no more exchange among our doctoral students, faculty, and programs. She thinks that it is sad that the major research universities do not promote this. To socialize a graduate student well is one thing, but cloning them to be like the doctoral faculty is not a good idea, especially in the research universities. 

    What has happened in some instances is that the doctoral mentors clone these students and then, they arrive on the doorsteps of the nursing programs at comprehensive universities or the liberal arts colleges where the primary concern is teaching and they are not prepared for it. 

    And, although part of the agenda is research, they expect more time than can be given, because in most of the institutions where they are employed, undergraduate teaching is still the main enterprise. So, although the major research universities prepare prospective faculty with good research skills, there is something critical that is missing in some of those programs. 

    It seems that as we develop new faculty with strengths in one area, we are losing ground in another, instead of creating a balance. She am all for research, but it is just as important to socialize the students to these other roles of a faculty member. Research should inform teaching and facilitate learning, which is the primary role of the faculty member.

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